Six new members have signed up to demonstrate their commitment towards keeping plastics in the economy and out of the environment, since the launch of the SA Plastics Pact on 30 January.
“Our SA Plastics Pact members are partnering to develop a circular economy for plastic, driving change through collaboration,” said Kirsten Barnes, SA Plastics Pact project lead at GreenCape. “Collective action across the plastics value chain drives this systemic change. We are excited to see the momentum building with new members signs ups,” she added.
The six new members to join the SA Plastics Pact are RCL FOODS, Berry Astrapak, Palletplast, the African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO), Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) and the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN).
The SA Plastics Pact was developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA), in partnership with the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO), and the UK’s WRAP. It has been developed for the South African context but also shaped by experiences of others in the global Plastics Pact network, in particular through the guidance of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the UK Plastics Pact, led by WRAP. The SA Plastics Pact is managed and delivered by GreenCape, with the founding members committed to a series of ambitious targets for 2025 to prevent plastics from becoming waste or pollution.
“Change is what creates opportunity, and we have to embrace this,” said Christopher Smith (Director, Palletplast). “As an active industry role player it is vital that we, together with other stakeholders, play a guiding role in the early adoption of this pact.”
The SA Plastics Pact will build on the positive work started by other initiatives and help scale up and disseminate good practice more quickly.
“We joined the SA Plastics Pact because reclaimers play a vital role in extracting recyclables that would otherwise land in our landfills,” said Louis Mahlangu, (Organiser, ARO). “We can add to decision-making, and help ensure that we have high quality plastic packaging that is 100% recyclable. We want to be recognised for our contribution to the economy and the environment.”
By 2025, The SA Plastics Pact will transform the country’s plastic packaging sector by meeting four ambitious targets
- Taking action on problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models
- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable (this is applicable only in closed loop and controlled systems with sufficient infrastructure available or fit for purpose applications.)
- 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled
- 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
According to Sally-Anne Käsner (Executive, ACEN), the vision of the African Circular Economy Network is to build a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity inclusive of all through new forms of economic production and consumption that maintain and regenerate environmental resources. “We look forward to participating and actively contributing to the SA Plastics Pact as we transition inclusively to a more circular plastics economy, which is likely to have an impact on plastics within the sub Saharan African region too.”
“As part of the Coca-Cola system, we have always believed that we have a role to play in ensuring that we collect and recycle packaging used in our beverages as outlined in our global World Without Waste 2030 strategy. We have always believed in collaborative efforts with all interested parties and as such we are one of the founding members of PET Recycling Company (PETCO) in South Africa, a self-regulating PET recycling industry body. Joining the SA Plastics Pact is a natural progression for us and a next step in realizing our 2030 vision, most importantly because the Pact’s alignment, is not only with the Coca-Cola company’s global vision of World Without Waste but also our internal South African specific sustainability goals,” said Stanley Shongwe (Head: Sustainability and Transformation, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa). For CCBSA joining the SA Plastics Pact means joining hands with like-minded organizations in a collective effort to reduce the environmental impact of plastics while we mobilise plastic’s circular economy and create much needed jobs in South Africa. We hope that by joining Plastics Pact and demonstrating both our commitment and progress publicly, we can encourage others from the beverage and broader FMCG industry to do the same. We know that solving these challenges will take collective effort.”